Lewis Hamilton refused to deny rumours that he’s involved in Jim Ratcliffe‘s proposed takeover of Manchester United, but offered reporters no confirmation that he’s involved either.
Hamilton gave the update at the launch of Mercedes‘ 2023 F1 car, the W14, in the team’s Brackley headquarters.
After a difficult start to the 2022/23 Premier League season, takeover rumours have dogged Manchester United with Ratcliffe considered the most likely candidate and Hamilton a possible partner.
“I’m very close to Jim,” Hamilton told select media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “I’m aware of where he is at, and we talked a lot about football, as he is very passionate about it, and we have great discussion just about how his team’s is doing.
“We talked about how Arsenal was playing, obviously he’s from Manchester, so that’s his dream, that’s his dream home, that’s where you come from. But there’s no other, there’s no further information I can give you on that.”
Despite intense speculation at the start of the season that Ratcliffe could launch a bid for the Red Devils, so far nothing’s come to fruition.
Manchester United suffered a torrid start to the Premier League as they lost both of their opening two games, falling at home to Brighton to kick off their campaign before they were humbled 4-0 by Brentford.
However, the team has improved under Erik ten Hag, especially since the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo and it was recently reported Ratcliffe was unwilling to meet the Glazers‘ £6 billion asking price.
Teammates and business partners?
Ratcliffe owns one-third of Mercedes F1 through his INEOS petrochemicals company, alongside Toto Wolff and the Daimler group. He also owns the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, which was previously Team Sky.
Manchester United would be the jewel in the crown of Ratcliffe‘s sporting empire though, while it could be a chance for Hamilton to expand his holdings.
The seven-time world champion was in a group that took over NFL team the Denver Broncos in 2022 and was also part of an unsuccessful bid for Chelsea.
“I really do believe in black ownership which there’s a lack of it in sports,” Hamilton said ahead of the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix.
“When I do get involved for example with the Broncos, I really try and focus on what I can do within the team.
“Within the infrastructure and within the surroundings in terms of the stadium and the homes that you end up building when you do eventually get a new stadium and all those sort of things so it’s an exciting one for the potential there is there.”